Systems > Habits
Written by:Systems Thinking
Habits are the latest rage in self-development. Look no further than recent best-selling books on habit development. I’ve read them all. And I’m here to tell you…habit theory is just the beginning.
Don’t get me wrong: habits are useful. It’s simply that tech-enabled systems take habits to the next level.
Let me explain.
Habit theory occurs at the ground level—through the lens of a single isolated action. Take, for example, Charles Duhigg’s 3-Step Habit Framework (Cue, Action, Reward).1
Perhaps you want to build the habit of calling your grandma every Saturday morning. So you set a calendar reminder and call her. You're rewarded with knowing you made her day and the joy of feeling closer to her (despite her unsolicited advice about why you're not married yet).
What’s missing from habit theory is a framework for directing and organizing the positive forces of multiple interrelated actions. Whether those actions occur daily, weekly, or monthly. Whether those actions occur subconsciously or with intention.
Because it’s far too easy to let those Saturday morning calls slip without a system to reinforce them.
There’s little guidance on the best-repeated actions, the tech-enabled tools that can accelerate your growth, and methods for reviewing/optimizing your behavior.
In summary, we need a framework for:
- Understanding the interplay of our repeated daily/weekly/monthly habits
- Leveraging tech-enabled tools to work smarter, not harder
- Reviewing and optimizing our progress.
If you’re looking for just that framework, you’ve come to the right place.
At System Sunday, we identify how we can make multiple positive habits work together—powered by tech-enabled tools and a method for optimizing—to become the best versions of ourselves
You see, the future will be led by individuals who embrace technology to reach unprecedented levels of human performance. This is a huge revelation for someone committed to realizing their potential.
If habits and systems were defined by equations, they’d look something like this:
Habit = Repeated activity
System = A collection of habits that share a common purpose + Tech-enabled tools (quantifying, tracking, automating) + Continuous Optimization
OK, let’s bring this to life.
Here’s a comparative example of Habit vs. System (in the context of a Wellness System):
|HABIT||SYSTEM (EX: WELLNESS)|
|1: A single isolated action
||1: Habits that share a common purpose
As you can tell, I'm a massive fan of products that do all the tracking for me—so reviewing how I did last week is as simple as unlocking my phone and using my eyeballs.
I share the most game-changing systems in my weekly newsletter, System Sunday.
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, Mike Chamberlain, et al., p. 19.